The FIFA Council convened today in Manama, Bahrain to discuss a number of key topics, some of which will be voted on by the 67th FIFA Congress on Thursday 11 May. 

FIFA’s strategic body passed important decisions related to the future of FIFA’s competitions, particularly the FIFA World Cup™:

- Bid requirements for the 2026 FIFA World Cup

Endorsement of a set of principles submitted by the FIFA administration as part of the process to select the host of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, including an overview of the content to be requested from bidding member associations and high-level hosting requirements. These include: stadium and infrastructure requirements; principles of sustainable event management, human rights and environmental protection; and details on aspects such as governmental support documents, the organisational model to be adopted and provisions for the establishment of a legacy fund. A complete version of the bid requirements will eventually be dispatched to member associations that register to take part in the process.

- Proposal submitted to the 67th FIFA Congress by the Canadian Soccer Association, the Mexican Football Association and the United States Soccer Federation

Following the approval of the bidding process, bidding requirements and hosting structure for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Council decided on the wording to be put forward for the FIFA Congress to vote on:

“Based on specific regulations to be issued by the Council, the FIFA administration shall establish a bidding procedure inviting initially only the member associations of CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and the OFC as candidates to submit to FIFA bids to host the final competition of the 2026 FIFA World Cup by 11 August 2017. The 68th FIFA Congress will decide on the selection of the candidate host associations. 

Should the 68th FIFA Congress decide not to select the candidate host associations, the FIFA administration will invite further member associations (including those in the AFC and UEFA, but excluding those associations that have already submitted a bid) to submit a bid to host the final competition of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. In such case, the final decision would be made at the FIFA Congress in 2020.”

- Slot allocation as of the 2026 edition

Ratification of the proposal recommended by the Bureau of the Council during its meeting on 30 March 2017, according to which the direct berths for the FIFA World Cup as of the 2026 edition are split as follows*:

. AFC: 8.5 slots 

· CAF: 9.5 slots 

· CONCACAF: 6.5 slots 

· CONMEBOL: 6.5 slots 

· OFC: 1.5 slot 

· UEFA: 16 slots

The approved slot allocation includes an intercontinental play-off tournament involving six teams to decide the last two FIFA World Cup berths.

* The host country would also automatically qualify for the FIFA World Cup, and its slot would be taken from the quota of its confederation. In the event of co-hosting, the number of host countries to qualify automatically would be decided by the FIFA Council.

Other key topics:

- Proposal of members for the judicial bodies, the Audit and Compliance Committee, and the Governance Committee 

The FIFA Council proposed to the 67th FIFA Congress a list of members of both chambers of the independent Ethics Committee, of the Disciplinary Committee, of the Appeal Committee, of the Audit and Compliance Committee, and of the Governance Committee. Each list of candidates will be presented for election en bloc to the FIFA Congress, each for a term of office of four years which would come into effect immediately.

- Proposals for amendments to the FIFA Statutes

The FIFA Council has decided to set up a dedicated working group to conduct a general review and reinforcement of the FIFA Statutes before submitting any amendments to the FIFA Congress. As a result, no amendments to the FIFA Statutes will be voted on at the 67th FIFA Congress. The composition of the working group will be determined by the Bureau of the Council and will be communicated in due course. 

- Request to lift suspension to play international matches in Iraq

Provided that the situation remains stable and that several adjustments are brought into place in the proposed venues (Erbil, Basra and Karbala), the Council decided to lift the ban for international friendlies. As a consequence, the Congress will not need to vote on this item, since it falls under the competence of the Council.

- The Best FIFA Football Awards 2017

Decision to stage the second edition of world football’s official awards in London on 23 October 2017. The ceremony will crown the world’s best performers during the 2016-2017 football season.

- Report by the chairman of the Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine

Following the report by chairman of the Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine Tokyo Sexwale, the FIFA Council considered that at this stage it is premature for the FIFA Congress to take any decision.

- Update on the ongoing fight against racism and discrimination

The FIFA Council expressed its concern at recent high-profile incidents of racism and emphasised that member associations and referees should be ready to adopt a strict policy to deal with incidents of racist nature, following the three-step protocol, under which referees would first stop the match and request a public announcement to insist that the racist behaviour cease, then suspend the match until the behaviour stops with another warning announcement, failing which the referee could then decide to abandon the match.